The third installment of the most famous PC Action RPG / Hack & Slash finally comes to consoles. With more than a year apart to its counterpart, can this version of Diablo III be what we all expected?
It has been 20 years since the events of Diablo II, and Deckard Cain continues his task to warn and protect mankind as the last of the Horadrim (the brotherhood created by the Archangel Tyrael to fight against Diablo, Mephisto and Baal) from the Tristam Cathedral. While he is reading ancient texts about a disturbing prophecy with Leah, his niece, the cathedral is impacted by a star and Deckard Cain disappears into the crater generated by it.
Due to this mysterious event, we arrived at the town of New Tristram, where together with Leah we will investigate whether Deckard survived the impact and, if so, if he knows exactly just what happened. While we investigate the crater left by this star, we will see that the energy emitted is the to blame for the revived human remains that are nearby and the increase of monsters in the area.
After investigating this event and find the culprit, we discover that this is a warning of the prophecy that was mentioned previously, and indicates that Belial (Lord of Lies) and Azmodan (Lord of Sin) plan to invade Sanctuary. To stop this, we will have to explore several areas of the world (some seen in previous games) and find a way to eliminate them as well as to their troops before they get to increase their powers, which generally require human sacrifices of some sort.
Having played the PC version a year ago, I can say that the game did not suffer a big change graph, which is not a bad thing. The moves, effects and details of the characters, enemies and levels are almost intact, and only going to suffer from some “jaggies” due to the resolution of this generation consoles (720p) and some somewhat simple textures. Though the story is narrated using the graphic engine of the game, Blizzard manages to demonstrate again the amazing quality of their CGI videos on several occasions, a detail that fans of the series will surely appreciate.
Something remarkable is that even finding ourselves surrounded by enemies and using a variety of skills and spells against them, there are few occasions where we notice that the performance of the game changes, maintaining the flow during all times. An unusual decision by the people of Blizzard was to limit the language of the voices and texts to the region to which it belongs, so that the Latin American version that was used for this review only has neutral Spanish. Although these voices play their role properly, the decision leaves fans looking forward to the chance to appreciate the original voices and texts.
Like the previous titles, Diablo III has several character classes to use:
- Witch Doctor: with various aspects of the Diablo II’s Necromancer and applying them to voodoo and shamanism, these characters can summon monsters, throw curses, harvest souls, using poisons and explosives.
- Barbarian: Like the previous title, the barbarians are responsible for generating large amounts of damage with different abilities and melee attacks. These skills consume rage, which is obtained taking damage from enemies or attacking them.
- Wizard: using arcane power, this class is responsible for using fire, ice and lightning spells, and some that allow us to slow time or transport us away from enemies and through walls.
- Monk: Monks are responsible to use different styles of martial arts to cripple foes, resist damage, deflect projectiles and attack very quickly and then connect attacks of great magnitude . These characters spend spirit to his abilities, and this is regenerated as we attack only.
- Demon Hunter: taking skills from Diablo II’s assassin and amazon , the demon hunters use crossbows as main weapons and various types of traps as secondary skill. These require two elements to use their skills, hatred and discipline where the first is regenerated significantly faster than the second.
All these characters can be created both as male or female, but unfortunately they have only one design. This takes away some points because similar games allow us to customize a bit more our characters, and they do not differ only by the equipment they have at the moment.
As in any Hack & Slash, much of our time is used to eliminate the hordes of enemies throughout the various chapters, leaving the quests we get as secondary. What motivates us to devote many hours to a game so focused on combat, are the items we got to defeat these enemies (or loot) we, as our luck or difficulty of the enemy we face, may be normal, magic, rare or unique. The difference besides the color and design, will be that each one will have different magic effects ranging from increased damage, attack speed, life steal per hit, up to improvements that only apply to a particular character class.
Among the most worrying changes of converting Diablo III to consoles, were the replacement of the controls (in the absence of the traditional keyboard and mouse) and if it would require an internet connection, as it happened in the PC version. Fortunately, the controls are the most comfortable that I saw for a Action RPG on consoles, distributing the skills and attacks between the face buttons and triggers, the shoulder buttons for potions, and even there is a quick way to change our equipment as we get new items using the D-Pad. Also worth noting that the console version does not need a constant connection to Blizzard, so that you can play offline, and up to 4 players locally if we have the people and the necessary controls.
Diablo III is one of the best conversions from PC to consoles made in the past few years. With a pretty comfortable control scheme, and with the possibility of playing in co-op from start to finish, this is a recommended title for those who are looking for a more traditional Action RPG.
Diablo III’s review copy was provided by Blizzard Entertainment and the game is available since September 3erd for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (Retail / Digital).